As Clayton Christensen, professor of business administration at Harvard Business School, put it, “revolutionary innovations occur when tension is greatest and resources are most limited. That’s when people are much more open to rethinking the usual way of doing business ”.
This can be seen recently, when designers and brands started to come together to develop solutions that combine empathy, creativity, technology and innovation. The goal is to help people deal with the routine changes caused by the pandemic, such as new work practices, education and even more stringent hygiene habits.
Fortunately, many of these initiatives have already been implemented and are working. And several others are being tested, showing that we have people there are successfully overcoming this challenge!
Solutions that combine technology and innovation to fight coronavirus
Whether through a new look at items that have become essential in everyday life or agile and accessible solutions to meet the urgent demands that have emerged on the scene, brands and designers from around the world show the strength of cooperation during the pandemic. While some use high technology to reduce the generation of waste or the risk of contagion from the coronavirus, others resort to collaborative work schemes to streamline processes. Check out some inspiring examples!
1. Sustainable masks to optimize the routine
How to approach fashion and beauty issues when the population has their faces covered by masks? Milk Makeup, a company that invests in gender-neutral vegan cosmetics, set a good example: it allied itself with Collina Strada, a clothing brand focused on the sustainable approach, to produce facial masks with fashion appeal, made from leftover fabric. The #LiveYourLook initiative seeks to attribute “expression” to people and will donate hundreds of masks to an American reception center for the LGBTQ + population.
While the masks from Milk Makeup and Collida Strada innovate through fashion, the models created by Bilio, an American company that produces sustainable bags, stand out for their comfort and manufacturing process, highly technological and without generating waste. Produced with a recycled polyester thread that receives antimicrobial treatment, the “Bilio Masks” are reusable and still have the advantage of adapting to various types of faces.
2. Wearable that monitors the health of the elderly
To help prevent contagion from the coronavirus, London-based design studio Tangerine teamed up with startup Connido, which works with baby monitoring technology, to develop a solution for monitoring the health of the elderly at home. Thus “Bluebell InTouch” was born, which was created in three weeks – taking advantage of some technologies that Connido already made available in its products – and the solution is in the testing phase.
The kit includes a clip-shaped monitor, which must be placed on the elderly person’s clothing to measure temperature and breathing (wearable); a smart bracelet, which can also be used as a necklace; and an app, which can be connected to a help center. In case of some suspicious variation, the monitor immediately warns, through the bracelet or the app, that can be with the elderly person or someone else.
3. Thermometer for a safer return
Kinsa, an American company that creates intelligent products and services for health monitoring, is creating solutions to reduce the risk of contagion in the post-pandemic. For this, the brand is monitoring the health of its customers every time they use one of the brand products: a thermometer connected to an app. And, based on this information, the company is setting up a database that allows analyzing the trajectory of Covid-19 in the United States.
And thinking specifically about children’s school return, the company will expand its FLUency program, which has been distributing smart thermometers in schools for low-income children, since 2017. The idea is to allow teachers to monitor students’ temperature more quickly , reducing the contact time between healthy children and those with suspected Covid-19, in addition to optimizing the brand database.
4. Robot to “lend a hand” in cleaning products
If you are already upset with the new product hygiene routine after shopping, can you imagine the work it takes on supermarket shelves? So Amazon’s technology team is working on a solution that can help companies during the pandemic: a robot that emits UV light to disinfect surfaces.
The novelty is still being tested in the supermarket chain Whole Foods, but research from Columbia University and the American Society for Microbiology has already shown that, in a certain spectrum, UV light can modify the genetic material of the coronavirus, preventing it from reproducing.
5. Field hospitals with open source technology
To increase the capacity of hospitals during the pandemic, designers, engineers and health technology experts have joined together to develop Connected Units for Respiratory Ailments – CURA. And the open source feature was extended to other professionals in areas related to the project, who also wish to contribute to the research. To do this, simply access the CURA website and access the proposal for your city.
To make the project feasible, the team transformed shipping containers into intensive care modules – with capacity for two patients – that have a bio-containment system, preventing the escape of contaminated air. Since its launch, CURA has received interventions from more than two thousand professionals, which has speeded up the improvement of the solution. Thus, a unit has already been implemented in a temporary hospital in Turin, Italy, and other units are under construction in the United Arab Emirates and Canada.
The coronavirus pandemic has brought great changes to the daily lives of people and businesses. Fortunately, with a lot of empathy, technology and innovation, several designers and brands from around the world are using their resources to create solutions that bring more well-being and health. So, with creativity and collaboration, it is easier to deal with so many changes, isn’t it? To receive more doses of inspiration like this, keep following our blog and follow Pande also on Instagram and Facebook!